The love of baking for me started with a simple banana coconut Bread.So its no wonder that baking bread seems so v special to me. With the bread , i went on to try couple other baking recipes and I was completely bowled over - sometimes by the complexity, sometimes by the utter ease, with which one could whip up most delicious of mouth watering recipes. The interest made me take up my very first challenge ByDaring Bakers. My first challenge turned out to be Bread! Now was I surprised ? You bet I was!
Since I had baked quite a few breads, I was confident! or should I say Over confidant! But Tanna made me work too hard with her Tender Potato Bread!What a challenge it turned out to be. Although I was forewarned that, the dough was going to be sticky, little did I realize how "Sticky", the "sticky" was going to be! Phew! When I completed, I was thoroughly exhausted. But one bite into the bread, my energy levels reached cloud 9! Thats the miracle - this potato bread is. V crusty at the same time tender in the inside.
I made 2 breads out of the bread dough. One was a bread in shape of rolls which I had seen in a baking book and another was a large loaf.
They turned out to be amazing! I was wondering how we were going to finish the bread since the qty was quite large but the former and half of later was over in a jiffy and the remaining large loaf , I made it into a Bread Upma the next morning. It was a complete winner! Thanks Tanna for setting up such a challenge.
Now to the recipe
Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil.
Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well.
Measure out 3 cups(750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable4.Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk.
Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.5.Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.
Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking.
The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean.
[ My note : This is the point where I learnt that 'sticky' definition I was mentioning earlier! mama mia!Also from this point, you will realise that the photographer 'me' did a little disappearing act on and oft ! can't blame her - she was busy breaking her back with the dough ]
The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little (Huh! ) sticky.At this stage it is all my imagination and fate which should be taking over! Anyways I kneaded the dough into small balls ( which turned out to be another herculean task and made about 10 balls and lined them side by side in a baking dish and let them rise a little more.
Rest of the dough, I shaped into a large loaf. Baked them at 450°(230°C) for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time. Took the out and cooled them for a while.